Tips for Japan on a budget

Japan is often thought to be an expensive travel destination.

Of course, compared to most other Asian countries the cost of things is generally quite high, but there are a few tips you can utilise in order to keep the cost of your trip down.


Admission-free places:


When you think about places with great views in Tokyo, most people probably think of Tokyo Skytree and Tokyo Tower. However, some budget travelers might be put off by the entrance fees (which are more expensive the higher in the tower you go).


For example, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building allows you to see the city views with free entry.


Another free place with nice views is the rooftop of Kitte (Kitte Sky garden) next to Tokyo station.


Tokyo station


Kitte sky garden


Also, there are other, free places to visit around Japan like shrines and parks (some parks charge an entrance fee).



I’ve been to Ebisu Beer Museum and found that it was quite interesting. Of course, you will have to pay for your own transportation to get there but still it’s fairly cheap.


Getting around:


If you are travelling all across Japan you might use the JR pass, but if you are just hanging around Tokyo for a few days you can use Tokyo subway passes to save a lot on travel.


subway pass1.jpg


In Tokyo you can travel almost anywhere by subway, but the price can really add up if you make several trips in one day.


In times like this, it can be handy to use a Tokyo Subway Pass. There are two types: one that includes Tokyo Metro only or one that include both Tokyo Metro and Toei lines. You can buy 24, 48 or 72 hour tickets.


There are other passes as well, check out our previous post about transportation pass and IC card here >> Suica and pasmo, which one to buy?




The delicious food in Japan brings people to visit year after year. But for people on a budget, it might be a struggle to find a nice restaurant to suit your price range.


The key to eating good food in Japan on a budget is splurge at lunch, save at dinner. A lot of restaurants are open for both lunch and dinner, but have a different menu or hike up the prices at dinner time.


yakiniku lunch.jpg
Yakiniku lunch set for less than 1000 yen


yakiniku lunch3.jpg
Also less than 1000 yen!


For affordable dinners, you could try teishoku, ramen or omurice. You can then take advantage of the lunchtime deals at more high class sushi or tempura. If you are a meat lover, many yakiniku places offer 1000 yen lunch deals.


Tempura for lunch, seriously save you $$


Lunch set come with Miso soup, less than 1000 yen too!!


“Kaiten sushi” or conveyor belt sushi is also very affordable. Price is ranging from 100 yen to fancy sushi at 500-600 yen/piece. If you stick with 100 yen sushi, you can eat 10 plates (=20 pieces). What a bargain!



If you’re on a real budget, you can also get onigiri and bento from convenience stores or supermarkets for under 500 yen.


Plain udon for less than 200 yen


You’ll have to eat it outside though, but this is a perfect opportunity for a picnic at one of the beautiful gardens in Japan like Yoyogi Park.
Listed in the link below are shops that offer cheap yet delicious meal in Tokyo.





Souvenirs, or omiyage, are a deeply ingrained part of Japanese culture. If you are meeting friends in Japan, you might want to bring something with you, or when you return from your holiday your friends will be expecting something.


Often when you buy something in Japan, the shops specifically designed for “souvenirs” are marked up, when your family and friends would be just as happy with something from the department store or even the supermarket.

Personally, I like to get typical supermarket snacks for my friends (Jagariko are a favourite), and cute socks or Japanese-style tea towels (tenugui) for my family.



Cute sock from Tabio
Only in Japan, Japanese finger socks  (@Tabio)


Aren’t these cute??? (@Tabio)


Items from 100 yen shops are also very popular such as chopsticks, tea cup, paper fan … etc.


cute items from 100 yen shop can make a great souvenirs!


Tenugui or hand towel, can you see Mt.fuji and sakura pattern? 100 yen only!


paper fan for hot summer day, also 100 yen


I hope this gave you an idea of a few of the ways to save money when travelling in Japan. Do you have any tips or suggestions of how to travel without spending too much?


Tappy tips : 
Enjoy cheap and good food !! Most supermarkets will try to sell out their bento boxes/sushi by closing time. If you are on budget travel, before to check the sales corner.  100 円引き meaning you will get 100 yen off and “半額” mean half price!




Blog by Rachel, edited by MONTHLY




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